Bizarre but true: Police suit against journalist



Police cordon

Taras Buzak, Editor of the Internet publication Khersonska Pravda says that he finds the law suit brought against him by the head of the Dniprovsk District Police Station incomprehensible and it’s no wonder. Volodymyr Martynenko is demanding 100 thousand UAH in moral compensation from Taras Buzak over the publication of a news item “There was a shooting incident yesterday on the corner of Perekopska and Chornomorska Streets” which was posted on 19 November 2012.

Taras Buzak told the Institute for Mass Information that in the suit lodged on 29 November, Martynenko demands that the information be declared inaccurate and retracted.  The offending words appear to have been that “according to residents of the apartment blocks outside and chance passers-by, early in the morning police officers detained a criminal who was killed through rifle fire”. Mr Buzak pointed out that neither the police station, nor its head are mentioned in the news item.

The claimant argues, Mr Buzak says, that since the streets in question are under the jurisdiction of the Dniprovsk Police Station. That this information is damaging to the claimant.

The Editor says that the whole case is baffling.  He also points out that the authorities cannot demand moral damages, only retraction of the information, and Martynenko has lodged the suit as the head of the police station.

In addition, he reports that the first hearing has already been, on 16 January 2013, and he doesn’t know how it ended.  He was told in court that the court decision to begin court proceedings is dated 18 December 2012 and that all the material had been sent to him on 28 December.  He says that only received notification of a court hearing on 28 January, and that there was always somebody at home during the period when the material should have arrived. 

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